Skip to main content

Vermont Road Trip Trip, Day 2

Prologue
Before I start with Day 2, thought I should wrap up, and provide explanation why the Day 1 post stopped after getting to New Hampshire. After crossing into Vermont, I decided to get some exercise by checking out the Quechee Gorge State Park off of US 4 (Exit 1 off of I-89). This is when the fun started. First, it decided, when I was halfway to the Gorge, to start raining. I decided to return quickly back to the car, and in doing so, unbeknownst to me, dropped my wallet on the Gorge Trail. I then drove through often deluging rain (and speeds less than 30 mph) the 50 miles north on I-89 to my hotel. When I finally got there around 4PM and was asked for my credit card for reservation confirmation, it was then I found out I had no wallet, so no cash, cards, license, etc. Since my only stop was at Quechee, I headed back down there, fortunately, for the drive, the rain had stopped. However, the Visitors Center was closed and after I searched the trail a couple times, I went over to the campground and was told I would have to wait until 9AM the next day to see if tey had my wallet. I left my name and number in case someone had found the wallet and then had to find some money to fill the gas tank. Once that was arranged, I had to convince the hotel to accept my reservation, even with no credit card or ID. Fortunately, I didn't lose the new smart phone and finally cleared up that issue and returned to Barre about 10PM, having to prepare for the interview next day and wondering if I my wallet had been found.

Day 2
A. Good Morning, After All
Got a call at 9:30 the next morning that some very honest and honorable person, didn't give their name, had found my wallet and had given it to one of the staff people at the park visitors the previous afternoon. I thus cut my interview preparations off and headed south on I-89 again. This time it was sunny. I retrieved my wallet, it was a little damp, but everything in it was still there. I gave the park donation box a generous amount and proceeded back north, having only 2 hours before the interview. I did what more preparation I could in the VTrans headquarters parking lot, which is not in central Montpelier, but at an office park a 1/2 mile off of I-89. I ended up talking to the Records Manager and two of his assistants for about 1 1/2 hours. It went pretty well, I thought. Despite at first looking like an interrogation, there were no bright lights shown in my eyes and I was able to tell them my interest in transportation and information management and that a group of us had visited the Bennington Bypass a while back. I may hear back this week.

B. Back to the Road Trip through Vermont
I decided to do some touristy things on the way back, since I didn't have time the previous day. I decided to head further up I-89 a couple exits to VT 100 in Waterbury:
The rumors that Vermont had been bitten by the Clearview font bug are true. Apparently it started when these signs were installed around 2010. Here's the final advance sign for the VT 100 exit:
Clearview is not only on the advance signs, but on the gore signs as well!--
That number just doesn't look quite right. I took a quick trip east for a couple miles then turned around:
This a view from VT 100 a mile east of Waterbury. Why turn around? To visit Ben & Jerry's, of course, to better fit into this blog, I provide you with the tour center entry sign:
And a replica of the original CowMobile (the original burned up in Cleveland (your joke here) on its inaugural trip in 1976):
After a tour (and some free and not-so-free ice cream) it was back to the road. Since I'd seen I-89 South often enough in the previous 24 hours, I decided to head back via US 302 East to I-91 South. Here is a view from I-89 South before I turned off at Exit 7:
Here's more examples of Clearview signage at the above mentioned exit:
US 302 goes through downtown Barre, so I got to see where the Dunkin' Donuts was in case I end up living in the area (got to scout out the essentials first, right?) It became more scenic after a few miles. Here's one of the many good views (and there was also a view of a rolled over vehicle to look at) from US 302:
I had never driven on I-91 in Vermont, other than to get to VT 9 for the Bennington Meet. Some nice views from that highway, and less traffic than was on I-89. There was something missing from the signs though:
Apparently these signs were put in around 2008, before Clearview became standard on Vermont signage. Here's another example:
There were some more scenic views:
Another interesting thing about Vermont is the constant pairing of interstate route shields with Eisenhower Interstate System signs, like this while driving through a rock cut:
Most states just put up a few of them, typically by themselves.

C. Back into New Hampshire
Picked up I-89 from I-91 and stopped (again) in Lebanon for food (the 'lunch' of ice cream was wearing off). I went to Lebanon the day before to get money wired to me via Western Union. It took so long that I spent an hour or so there before getting some funds and then partaking in one of their many fast food places (Wendy's) and filling the car. Same stop, different place this evening (Burger King), then, not coincidentally, got some gas, for the car. The rest of the photos are some of the more interesting signs seen on the way back home. Approaching the end of I-89 in Concord, can you guess which of the signs is new:
There were several Variable Message Signs up warning of traffic congestion on I-93 due to the upcoming weekend's events at the NH Motor Speedway (thought that was I-93?) Speaking of signage on:
Here's another one of those new Up Arrow signs, such as on the I-95 NH Turnpike near Portsmouth. In case you need to see the next one, 1/2 mile later, here it is:
As you can see, there's a repaving project going on along this portion of the Everett Turnpike. I decided to stay on the Turnpike (I-293) instead of I-93, because I had yet to drive the entire stretch of US 3 in MA since it has been widened. Before we get out of NH though, I always liked these NH signs, though they appear to be a little too small on a freeway:
They should be the size of similar ones done in NC, almost 50% bigger. Speaking of bigger signs:
Where's the Yellow Toll Banner on the Everett Turnpike sign? Why is it 'To NH 101'? when that route shares the same highway as the interstate? The other curious aspect of my trip was finding out that the exit numbers on the Everett Turnpike south of I-293 almost all match their mileposts, meaning little expense in this case of converting to mile-based exit system, if and when NH does. For example, Exit 11 is at, yes, Mile 11:
Same could be said at Exit 2 (US 3 joined the Turnpike at Exit 4):
Exit 1 is at Mile 2 southbound but at Mile 0 northbound, so you could use 1 there, the average. Another curiosity noticed here, NH cannot seem to decide what should be listed first the last few miles before the border, the Turnpike logo, or US 3. Above its the Turnpike, but it is US 3 on this NH route sign:
But its the Turnpike on one of the last overheads before heading across the Mass. border:
And, here it is again, the narrow 3 arrows over one lane sign (and it looks like they had a mistake in the Exit Only banner for the NH 3A sign with it apparently over both lanes and had to put a new one and move it to the right).

D. Back to Massachusetts
Had a chance to take a few more photos along US 3 in MA before it got dark. Here's the first overhead southbound put up after the road was widened but not the current style regarding the Exit tab:
Looks like the number leaks over into the advance sign itself. Will this and all the others along US 3, (with a few exceptions, see below), have to be updated if milepost numbers are used? Meanwhile, here's one of the weirder large US 3 shields used on this section of the freeway:
 This one is not a cut out, and features a real small size 3 numeral. There apparently has been a sign update at the I-495/MA 110 interchange:
This is a new style sign with the line separated exit tab. This is used for all the signs for these exits:
Are all the signs going to be updated to this style before exit number conversion. Why no control city listed for US 3. Finally, a more normal looking US 3 South reassurance marker sign:
A larger 3 just looks better, though I never have liked the small directional banners sitting to the left.

Other road news picked up after it got dark. They were closing lanes on I-95/128 South near Route 2A for paving and placing a new concrete barrier in the median as is the case now between US 3 and I-93 and from Trapelo Rd south to almost MA 9. Additional paving was going on between US 1 and East St, unlike the first closure, which was marked, this second had no warning signage (except a VMS saying drivers should look out for paving work starting on 7/21) and a worker rolling over an orange barrel ended up in my lane while it had began raining, limiting visibility as is. I was lucky to have been able to slow down and swerve out of the way without hitting anyone or anything. Before this in the Needham area there were several new overhead signs placed where the current Add-A-Lane work is going on. This included 2 new signs for the MA 135 exit and a 1 mile advance sign for MA 109 paired with a new Blue Truck Turnout area sign.

Lastly, an update on the I-93 signage project. In my Previous Post, I indicated that no new work had been done as to new signage along the SE Expressway portion from Braintree to Boston. The day after I drove through there the contractor apparently started putting up new exit gore signs and continued doing so on Friday and Saturday nights. From looking over traffic cameras, there appear to be new signs northbound for Exit 8 and maybe Exit 9, and southbound for Exit 15, perhaps 12, I may go out later this week to investigate more. I will definitely not be keeping all my money and info in one place the next time I travel.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Old River Lock & Control Structure (Lettsworth, LA)

  The Old River Control Structure (ORCS) and its connecting satellite facilities combine to form one of the most impressive flood control complexes in North America. Located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Red River and Atchafalaya River nearby, this structure system was fundamentally made possible by the Flood Control Act of 1928 that was passed by the United States Congress in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 however a second, less obvious motivation influenced the construction here. The Mississippi River’s channel has gradually elongated and meandered in the area over the centuries, creating new oxbows and sandbars that made navigation of the river challenging and time-consuming through the steamboat era of the 1800s. This treacherous area of the river known as “Turnbull’s Bend” was where the mouth of the Red River was located that the upriver end of the bend and the Atchafalaya River, then effectively an outflow

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

The decade of the 1930s brought unprecedented growth and development to Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure as the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge cemented their place as leading urban centers on the Gulf Coast. In the immediate aftermath of the success garnered by the construction of the massive bridge on the Mississippi River near New Orleans in 1935, planning and construction commenced on the state’s second bridge over the great river. This new bridge, located on the north side of Baton Rouge, was to be similar in design and form to its downriver predecessor. Completed in 1940 as the second bridge across the Mississippi River in Louisiana and the first to be built in the Baton Rouge area, this bridge is one of two bridges on the Mississippi named for Huey P. Long, a Louisiana politician who served as the 40th Governor of the State from 1928 to 1932, then as U.S. Senator from 1932 until his death by assassination at the state capitol in Baton Rouge on September 10, 1935